Last year, city police police received more than 200 reports of promiscuous shootings during an eight-hour period that began New Year’s Eve. From here on 23rd Street, that count seems low.
On January 2, 2004, the RTD published CITY SHOOTINGS DISTURB PARKER ; CHIEF IS ‘APPALLED BY THE THUGLIKE BEHAVIOR OF SOME OF OUR RESIDENTS’. From what I recall of the article (not being willing to shell out the $2.50 to read the archive), Chief Parker harangued the shooters for not displaying enough civic concern. I remember at the time wondering how many of them were regular RTD readers and thinking that a press release would never have much of an impact.
Before that, though, I remember spending my first New Years in Church Hill just freakin’ amazed at the shooting. It started sporadically around 11:30pm and picked up pace well into the new year. From where we are, the shooting was all around. The gunfire was so frequent that the notion of reporting the shooting soon seemed ridiculous – “Hello? Yeah, its me again…”
It seems obvious why many people shooting guns into the air is a bad idea. In no way an attempt to justify the behavior, I need to say that I find it to be exciting in a way that correlates to why I like living in the city. But I feel bad about feeling that way — over the course of the year, the shooting continued and there was at least one fatal shooting to the north, south, east, and west of us.
In a low-key way I’ve been wondering what to do this coming New Year’s Eve, besides turn off the lights and look out of the window for muzzle flashes. I will probably call in a symbolic report of the shooting once it gets going, though I don’t really expect that to do much.
Happy New Year. Have fun and be safe.
— John Murden